Google and the art of nudging your customers into a purchase

There’s nearly unanimous belief that email blasts and other one-way messages are becoming less and less effective. What’s less clear is how to manage the customer path to purchase with a serious of nudges. It all makes sense, right? We approach customers from a combination of directions and with a combination of messages, but where and when does it all click. Can we really consider people as that predictable? Fortunately, big data and analytics packages show us that we absolutely can, but it has to be thought-out and intentional.

Google just released a report on their analytics tool that covers what they call the Customer Journey to Online Purchase. It offers an interesting perspective on how to measure the various nudges that move customers from awareness to consideration, and then creates intent before finally leading to decision. While the article may have focused on online purchases, the same concepts apply more broadly to buying and selling.

The Customer Journey to Online Purchase

From assist to last interactionWhat I like about the Google perspective is its definition of the the three stages of ‘assisting’ the purchase before the decision is made. Each step in the assist has different channels for content and interaction that are a key part of the move to decision. Attempting to engage a customer at the wrong time with the wrong message won’t skip the consideration step, for example, and it isn’t appropriate to move from awareness to decision.

The P word

What some might think is a series of disconnected ‘touches’ should instead be a clearly defined activity and goal. The report goes on to specify which channels and nudges combine for each step of the process. It has to be measurable at each stage to know what’s working or not. Process, metrics and marketing? Say it isn’t so…

There’s even a great video to explain the concepts of what Google is branding as Multi-channel Funnels:



Categories: Data Analytics / Big Data, Marketing, Process Management, Social / Collaboration

Author:Chris Taylor

Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing. There's no end to what we can change and improve. I wear myself out...

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One Comment on “Google and the art of nudging your customers into a purchase”

  1. April 26, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    This is great! We often want a direct line from A to F, but that could be because there wasn’t an efficient way to measure or monitor steps B-E before. This won’t just provide more “insight” but perhaps change how people think about getting a conversion.

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